Key Benefits of Social Media in the World of B2B Marketing
Clients often ask how important and how impactful a social media presence is for B2B (Business to Business) companies. While the use of social media for B2C (Business to Customer) is quite clear, the use case for B2B businesses may be more complicated but the impact can be significant. If you are a business decision-maker for a B2B company and are looking to engage in a social strategy, it’s important to understand the benefits, the time commitment, and the nuances of each platform before getting started.
Not all social sites are the same.
Keep in mind that not all social sites provide the same value. While social backlinks can be beneficial, lending SEO value to your website, it’s important to evaluate the platforms and their business benefits before setting up social accounts. Facebook and Instagram tend to readily serve B2C needs, particularly for responding to customer service issues or gathering customer feedback. Twitter and LinkedIn are both known to offer significant value in the world of B2B and are often the platforms of choice for companies looking to build business connections.
Being social takes time.
Proper management of social platforms takes time. To properly manage social media accounts, we recommend a minimum of 2-3 hours per week per platform – more if you intend to use the platform for advertising. LinkedIn and Twitter are the top two social platforms for B2B as delivery of content is the primary goal of both. We strongly recommend an advertising budget be put into the social strategy. Platform growth will have a significant impact on surprisingly small budgets.
Once you have social media platforms set up, it is extremely important to keep them active. Landing on a LinkedIn page or Twitter account that has not posted in months does not give visitors confidence in your brand. Ensure you have someone assigned to the creation of a content calendar as well as posting and monitoring your social platforms for comments, shares, or questions. If you are short on resources or struggle with social media content development, you may want to consider
Three key benefits of a strong social media plan for your B2B business include:
Driving traffic to your website
One major benefit of social media for your business is the ability to drive traffic to your website, a landing page, or other content. When social content gets broadly shared, it creates the opportunity for one social post to grow exponentially in impact related to traffic. This leads to the importance of quality content. Sharing data, insights, and thought leadership content are effective strategies for encouraging shares and engagement.
Differentiating your brand
How do you stand out from your competition? Social media offers a great way to communicate your business differentiators. When potential clients or customers are researching, social media platforms will often pop up, and also, the search function within platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook are often used to find businesses by using keywords to search. Keeping that in mind, you will want to ensure your primary keywords are included in your business descriptions.
The ability to dial down and specifically target buyer personas is one of the major benefits of social media advertising. Like other PPC advertising such as Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) targeting criteria includes such things as geographical location, job titles, company size, gender, age, interests, and much more. This type of advertising can be very cost-effective if properly managed. A/B testing and using an agile marketing approach can help you quickly land on the most effective ad strategies to meet your business goals.
Do the research.
If you are unsure if you should jump into social media marketing, we recommend you first understand the competitive landscape. Where are your competitors found on social media? How are they using the platforms? How often are they posting? How engaged are their followers? A can quickly help you to better understand the platforms you should use and also give you an idea about the type of content that is resonating with your target audience.
Looking for social support or just guidance on how to get started? Affirma Consulting provides a myriad of social media related services including social audits, which we highly recommend before diving into the social media world.